Noisy neighbors are the worst. They can ruin your weekend, disrupt your sleep, and making living where you live miserable. Itâs good to try to make friends with them to give yourself more control, which is what Mac and Kelly Radner (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) try to do in âNeighbors.â They have a newborn baby, and are worried that Teddy (Zac Efron), Pete (Dave Franco), and the rest of his fraternity brothers who are moving in next door will make too much noise. Things go well with that planâŠuntil they donât.
What ensues is a battle of wits and wills with the frat boys and the young parents duking it out in a series of pranks and sophomoric payback. The funny bits themselves are hit or miss, but credit goes to writers Andrew Cohen and Brendan O'Brien for upping the ante and being original with a pretty funny scene that is essentially one big tit joke. Sure, the typical raunchy humor and dick jokes abound (including one that has me looking at 3D printers in a whole new light), but it is great to see more inclusiveness and variety. I also appreciate the fresh take on Kelly. Typically in these âboys will be boysâ type movies, the wife/girlfriend character is a total stuck up shrew and complete buzzkill to every fun thing the guys want to do. Kelly is not like that at all. She gets down and pranky right there with the guys, and at one point even outright says that being a responsible adult is not her strong suit. Finally, a woman in a guy comedy that is not equal parts judgmental and bitchy, and who knows how to let loose and have some fun. Itâs a welcome change and a big first step in more lively direction. Rent It.
Monday will mark the 10th anniversary of one of the most bizarre airplane crashes in television history. Oceanic flight 815 left Sydney bound for LAX. Somewhere along the way, the pilot diverted the course to head toward Fiji in order to address instrument issues. Along the way, 1,000 miles off course, an unknown force ripped the tail section off the airliner and the plane crashed on an unknown island. There, the survivors had to endure polar bears, buttons, time travel, nuclear warheads, murderous locals, and strong religious overtones. The survivors had to learn to live together, die alone and each one discovered that they had a tabula rasa, a blank slate on which to make up for past mistakes. (For those of you die hard âLostâ fans out there, I challenge you to pick out the ten episode titles hidden within this article.)
âLostâ aired September 22, 2004, on ABC with one of the most intense and successful pilot episodes in recent history. From the start, viewers knew they would be in for something special and as the first season progressed and mysteries compounded on top of mysteries, what was once the new âfrom the creator of âAliasââ show became a pop culture phenomenon. Through subsequent seasons, the mysteries became more and more bizarre and viewers started to question why they were watching. As the third season drew to a close, the series had lost around 5 million of its original 18.65 million viewers and through the subsequent seasons, nearly half of those season one viewers had deserted the island. But as a testament to the draw of the over-arching mysteries, viewership swelled back to 13.57 million viewers, almost more than any season of â24â and over 3 million more viewers than the highest point of J.J. Abramsâ previous show âAlias.â
After the success of âTwilightâ studios began fast
tracking all the Young Adult book-based films they could. Most of these
have been mediocre at best, but âThe Maze Runnerâ is a surprising
Based on the first book in the âMaze Runnerâ trilogy, the
movie tells the story of a group of young men trapped within an ever
changing labyrinth. They reside at the center of the maze, an expansive
grass and woodland area that they call âThe Glade.â Over the past few
years theyâve developed a set of rules and strict social structure in
order to survive. In a very effective opening sequence, a young man,
Thomas (Dylan OâBrien), suddenly wakes on a freight elevator
that is rocketing upwards. The elevator eventually surfaces in the
Glade and the other boys approach him. Like all the others living
there, he has no memory of who he is or his life before that moment. After his arrival, life for the boys of the Glade begin to change and
ultimately they must find a way out of the Maze or risk extermination.
âA Walk Among the Tombstonesâ opens with Liam Neeson gruffly mumbling as he talks to a drug dealer, then going inside a bar for two shots of whisky and a coffee. We presume the coffee is black because men like Neesonâs Matt Scudder like it that way. Suddenly the bartender is shot, and Scudder is scuddering his way down the road shooting bad guys. After he shoots one in the leg, he walks after the limping fiend, just like Jason or Michael Myers in a horror movie. Finally, and naturally, the bad guy is shot dead.
If youâre a fan of Liam Neeson the badass (âTaken,â âThe Greyâ), there couldnât be a better start. Scudder is tough, fearless, has a way with words and is not to be messed with. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie isnât as enthralling as its beginning.Â
âTuskâ is the most bizarre movie I have ever seen. Thatâs not hyperbole â itâs the honest truth.
Itâs not quite torture porn, but it goes there. Itâs not entirely a dark comedy, but it has funny moments. Itâs not entirely a thriller, though the atmosphere suggests it is. Itâs all of these things and none of them.Â
Not knowing what to make of the film is, I believe, entirely the point. Writer/director Kevin Smithâs career has run the gamut of hits (âClerksâ) and misses (âCop Outâ), and heâs spoken publicly about his disdain for the movie business. It makes sense that heâd create and self-distribute a film that subverts film industry conventionality, which states that movies are genre-classified and promoted in standardized (and therefore proven successful) ways. Using social media and core followers as his base, Smith is returning to his indie filmmaker roots, for better or worse.Â
Posting on a blog called Art (Not Art), director/co-screenwriter James Franco says, "The best thing about my new film, the Cormac McCarthy adaptation 'Child Of God,' is the performance by my old friend Scott Haze." Turns out Franco is right--again. McCarthy's abominable creation, this Lester Ballard character, becomes genuinely unforgettable through the phenomenal, vivid realism of actor Scott Haze. The trip into the woods with Ballard, a feral human being, is a thrill ride you ought not miss.
Don't let the stories of Haze's Tennessee cave-dwelling and diet of only apples and one fish per day for a month in preparation for the role of perhaps the most infamous necrophiliac in American literature distract you from what this man actually accomplishes, and dares to do, on screen.
In Israeli director Nadav Schirman's ("In The Dark Room" ) spy documentary "The Green Prince," Mosab Yousef, the eldest son of a prominent Hamas leader, and Gonen Yitzhak, an Israeli intelligence agent who "handles" prisoners, become allies. This is supposed to absolutely shock the senses and create deep intrigue. The most interesting part of this movie, though, is that it utterly fails at both.
One of the major problems with this film (and, more importantly, this entire conflict) is the privileged nature of the players. So here you have two wealthy individuals (one Palestinian and one Israeli) speaking openly about how they manipulate the public at-large through outright lies and deceptive, jingoistic propaganda.
We first see âDavid,â the enigmatic stranger at the center of the bloodthirsty, skillfully crafted thriller The Guest, from the back as he runs. Something about his confident body language suggests he's running toward a destination as opposed to eluding someone. Could he be possibly doing both?
A jump cut to the film's title in big, bold letters proudly declares we're about to be treated to Genre Pleasures without a hint of subtlety. The scene that follows, which comes across as a fairly earnest rendering of the kind of human interest story you read in the paper or watch on your local news, nevertheless alludes to a more ambitious undertaking than your run-of-the-mill B movie.Â